The 2014 IIHF World Championship was hosted by Belarus in its capital, Minsk. Sixteen national teams were competing in two venues, the Minsk-Arena and Chizhovka-Arena. It was the first time Belarus hosted the tournament. The selection of Belarus to host this competition was the subject of much debate, with some politicians in both Europe and the United States calling for the IIHF to move the tournament to another country.
Russia remained undefeated throughout the championship and captured the gold medal by defeating Finland 5–2 in the final. Sweden captured the bronze medal with a 3–0 victory over the Czech Republic. Host team Belarus made the playoffs for the first time since 2009, losing to Sweden 3–2 in the quarterfinal. Italy and Kazakhstan were relegated to Division I A. Prior to the championship, Division I-III had played their tournaments to establish the rank between teams of lower levels.
The tournament saw a new attendance record for the World Championship, as a total of 640,044 people attended games, surpassing the record set at the 2004 tournament in the Czech Republic, which had 552,097 spectators.
On 8 May 2009, the Belarusian bid was successful and got 75 votes in the race for hosting the 2014 IIHF World Championship. The application with the slogan “Welcome to the young hockey country” beat out those from Hungary (24 votes), Latvia (3), and Ukraine (3).
The two main venues listed as hosts for the ice hockey teams were Minsk-Arena (capacity around 15000) and Chizhovka-Arena (capacity around 9600). The larger arena was completed and opened in 2010, whereas construction of the smaller one was completed in 2012.
The selection of Belarus as hosts caused great controversy (Minsk2014 Campaign). On 11 April 2011, United States Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Michael Quigley urged the IIHF to move the World Championship to another location, citing concerns over the authoritarian government of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko's alleged human rights violations had resulted in numerous sanctions placed on himself and 157 of his associates by the European Union and United States. Senator Durbin and Representative Quigley were supported by former Slovak ice hockey player and current Member of the European Parliament Peter Šťastný. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. organisation Freedom House, Belarus was the least democratic country in Europe at the time. However, the IIHF remarked that its statutes did not allow it to discriminate on political grounds, and spokespersons for the Latvian and Lithuanian ice hockey federations stated that they had no desire for "mixing politics with sports".
On 16 January 2012, President Lukashenko announced that any foreigners who wanted to attend the World Championships would not need a visa to enter Belarus, or the medical insurance required for entry. The only documentation required was an original or electronic copy of a ticket to a game.
Each team's roster consists of at least 15 skaters (forwards and defencemen) and two goaltenders, and at most 22 skaters and three goaltenders. All 16 participating nations, through the confirmation of their respective national associations, have to submit a roster by the first IIHF directorate meeting.
The IIHF selected 16 referees and 16 linesmen to work the 2014 IIHF World Championship. They were the following:
Of the 16 teams in the tournament Belarus qualified as host while Kazakhstan and Italy qualified through the 2013 IIHF World Championship Division I, the rest qualified after a top 14 placement at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. The teams are divided into two groups of which the four best from each will advance to the quarter finals. Here they will meet cross-over as indicated in the section below.
In the group round, points were awarded as follows:3 points for a win in regulation time (W)
2 point for a team that drew in regulation time but won the following overtime (OTW) or game winning shots (GWS)
1 point for a team that drew and lost the above-mentioned competition (OTL)
0 points for a team that lost in regulation time (L)
If two or more teams finished with an equal number of points in the same group, their standings were determined by the following tiebreaking formula:
- Points in games between the tied teams
- Goal difference in games between the tied teams
- Goals scored in games between the tied teams
- Results against the closest best-ranking team outside the original group of tied teams
- Results against the next highest ranking team outside the original group of tied teams
- Tournament seedings
Final ranking: places 1–4 were determined by the medal games. Other places were determined by playoff positioning, group play positioning in the group, number of points, goal difference, goals scored, and tournament seeding. The two lowest ranking teams overall were relegated to Division I A.
The schedule was released on 5 September 2013.
All times are local (UTC+3).
The official IIHF final ranking of the tournament:
List shows the top skaters sorted by points, then goals.
GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/− = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalties in Minutes; POS = Position
Only the top ten goaltenders, based on save percentage, who have played at least 40% of their team's minutes, are included in this list.
TOI = Time on Ice (minutes:seconds); SA = Shots Against; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals against average; Sv% = Save Percentage; SO = Shutouts